Sunday, September 02, 2012

Lost in Quebec

Following the day of the wedding, I woke up the next day to slightly grey skies, and then wasted several hours reading a Tom Clancy, before putting on my running kit and heading off for a run.

I'd done the same route yesterday - down the road, into the forest, out into the middle of a new housing development of identikit houses, and then back to the cottage - and my initial success had bred contempt at the task. This second time round, instead of running in random directions and swiftly finding myself just down the road from where I'd started, I found mself ... nowhere.

This was a problem. As I ran along past strip malls, or golf courses, or petrol stations, but mostly unfinished buildings, I remembered that I didn't know the street number of the cottage. Or the name of the street. Or anybody's phone number. Or how to say 'I am lost' in French. I'd got up early, while everyone else was sleeping off the wedding, but perhaps in a few hours they'd realise I was missing.

Then what? I didn't know where I was running, but my GPS did tell me I'd done more than 10 kilometres in some direction or other. Would they need to request a police car to search the streets of Montreal for me? Or Toronto? Or Canada?

I went past Eggsuisse, which (I assume from its punning name) is a place that serves Swiss style eggs, exquisitely. This was no good for me.

I saw a river behind a row of houses. Encouraged, I ran a bit further, then found no more river, just more houses. Then what looked like the wrong river. Or the wrong houses. On I went, convinced that at some point I'd turn a corner and find the cottage I was looking for. Nothing showed up. I'd been gone for more than an hour. What would become of me? Would my corpse be picked clean by Quebecois vultures?

Finally, I gave up on running and walking further to try to find something, and retraced my route, as far as a map, that when I peered at it and thought about how the river had been arranged for the wedding, convinced me that I knew where to go.

Obviously, that would be in the opposite direction to my 'unerring' sense of direction from a little while (5 kilometres) ago. In five minutes, I could see the bend in the river near the cottage, and then I was back in the arms of my worried wife, who could now call off the search for me.

I was a bit miffed that nobody had noticed I'd been gone for an hour and a half, but then this is what happens when you go out before everyone wakes up. And I couldn't really complains, because (a) it was my own silly fault and (b) there were fresh muffins to eat. Next time I'm in a foreign country, I will try to remember to take some record of where I'm meant to be with me...


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